Bangladesh look to improve FIFA rankings

Bangladesh football team captain Jamal Bhuiyan (L) shakes hands with his Bhutanese counterpart Chencho Gyeltshen after a press conference at the BFF House on Saturday. — BFF photo

Bangladesh will take on Bhutan in their first of the two FIFA International friendly matches today not only as preparation for their 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 joint qualifiers against Qatar and India but also to improve their FIFA rankings.

The match will kick-off at 7:00pm at the Bangabandhu National Stadium and BTV and Bangla TV will telecast the match live. The second match will be held on October 3 at the same venue.

Bangladesh are scheduled to take on Asian champions Qatar at the Bangabandhu National Stadium on October 10 and neighbouring India five days later in Kolkata in their next two matches in the qualifiers.

As part of preparation, the Bangladesh Football Federation has arranged two friendly matches against Bhutan.

Hosts go into today’s match as favourites as in their previous 11 encounters, Bangladesh have won in eight occasions, drawn two and lost only once.

But in the current FIFA ranking, Bhutan [185th] were placed two steps ahead of Bangladesh [187th].

‘I want to win both the games… if we do, it will give us little bit more confidence before going for the World Cup qualifiers…hopefully, we will put up good performance,’ said Day at the pre-match press conference at Bangladesh Football Federation House on Saturday.

‘They [Bhutan] have not qualified for the qualifiers but they are a bit better than us in the ranking. It’s a good opportunity for us to get some FIFA ranking points because obviously we want to move up in that table. I think it will be a good preparation.’

Bangladesh captain Jamal Bhuiyan also echoed his coach.

‘We want to win the two games because we have a big game against Qatar. If we win we will move up in the ranking and also boost up our performance for the games against Qatar and India.’

Bhutan coach Pema termed Bangladesh as a good team and expected that his charges will give their best to earn a good result.

‘We had a four-day long training session before arriving in Dhaka. We have included 10-11 Under-23 players in the squad. Bangladesh are a good team, but I believe that our players will give their best against them tomorrow [today],’ said Pema.

The visiting side captain Chencho Gyeltshen, who played for Chittagong Abahani in the 2016 Bangladesh Premier League, said, ‘Most of our players are new, but I believe that we will play a good game against Bangladesh.’

‘We conceded a 0-2 goal defeat against Bangladesh in SAFF [Championship] 2018, but now I am very confident of doing well.’

Source: New Age.

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